What would you say if I told you there was one shoe you could wear with just about anything on a daily basis? You’d be all over that, right? It’s true. A medium brown lace-up dress shoe can be worn with any outfit except for a tuxedo, a black suit (which you shouldn’t be wearing anyway), and shorts. Wear them with jeans, chinos, suits and dress pants.
One of the places I always recommend investing in wardrobe-wise is shoes — you’re better off buying one pair of quality shoes and replacing them as needed every 5 years or so, than a crappy quality shoe that you have to replace every year. When it comes to making the most of your footwear investment, another key to keep in mind is not to wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row. If you rotate your shoes, they’ll last a whole lot longer.
So if you’re going to make an investment shoe purchase, I highly recommend a medium-brown lace-up. They can have a cap toe, no cap toe (see above), or you can do a wingtip (see below).
Man jewelry is one of those things that a lot of guys are curious about but are not sure how to (or if they even can) pull off. I get it — it’s so easy to do it wrong, that it’s almost too intimidating to try. Take my long-time client “A,” for example, who works for a management consulting firm. When we first started working together several years ago, every Friday when he came home from the office, he’d put on a colorful beaded necklace. This was his way of marking that the weekend had begun and he was transitioning into hip and relaxed dad mode. Only issue was the necklace looked like one of those candy necklaces kids wear (that’s actually what I thought it was the first time I saw it — oops). Not exactly cool dad material. Even though A didn’t quite execute, I give him props for trying. Fortunately this problem had an easy solution — we ditched the necklace in favor of a more masculine-feeling and subdued combination of bracelets that he looked forward to putting on every weekend and that didn’t make him look like he shopped for accessories at the candy store.
How can you avoid looking like a casualty when it comes to wearing man jewelry? I’ve put together the following 8 basic rules for you to follow so you can get it right the first time, plus a few pix from around the web for inspiration. [Note: for the purposes of this post, I’ll only be addressing casual jewelry — necklaces, bracelets and non-wedding band rings — as that’s what I see guys struggling the most with].
Welcome to the 6th annual Rath & Co. holiday gift guide! This list is one of my favorite posts to create for you. And if your inbox over the past week has been anything like mine, it’s filled with a frenzy of sales and offers, some better than others. It’s a little overwhelming, even for me. There is so much stuff to weed through. And let’s be real, much of what’s being touted as good holiday gifts is uninspired and trite. Kind of like just going through the motions of giving someone a gift without putting much thought into it. What’s the point of that?
What I’ve done with this year’s gift guide is scouted for Rath-approved items that not everyone else will be getting — interesting and unique gifts that show some thought was put into choosing them. The list is divided up into ideas for men and ideas for women and cover a range of budgets. The ideas for men may cover the guys on your list — or maybe they’re things you’ll ask for yourself.
Cause and Effect bracelet ($50) – This is for a guy who’s somewhat advanced in the style dept. Man jewelry is not the easiest thing to pull off (post coming soon on that, I promise), but I love the raw feel of this painted copper cuff. It can be worn alone or in combination with a watch or other bracelets for a full-on arm party.
Nike + Undercover Court Force High-Top Sneakers ($150) – OK, so he’s got a basic non-workout sneaker (hopefully). Now it’s time to take it up a notch with something more stylish. This high-top from Nike is a great option for a guy who wants to step up his style but doesn’t want to get involved in wacky colors or over-the-top patterns.
Felisi jeans belt ($175) – If you or the guy on your list doesn’t have a solid jeans belt (no, the reversible black to brown one does not count), it’s time to remedy that. I like this one from Felisi because each buckle hole is embossed with numbers for a subtle twist on the classic.
Wooly Mammoth Tusk Kershaw Knife ($270) – I can’t think of many gifts more manly than a badass knife like this one. The handle is made from the tusks of wooly mammoths that lived around 15,000 years ago.
Kingsman + Deakin & Francis rose gold chevron money clip ($395) – Many of my clients use money clips, so I’m always on the lookout for extra cool and different ones. This rose gold chevron one is a great find — totally unique and eye-catching.
D.L. & Co snake journal ($35) – There’s something so luxurious about pulling a gorgeous journal out of your bag to write in, and this glitter snake journal does not disappoint. If snakes aren’t her thing, D.L. & Co. has a number of other lovely options including feathers and butterflies.
Eberjey pajama set ($102) – Nice pajamas are the kind of thing women rarely buy for themselves but make them feel totally pampered when slipping into them at night (I will admit though that I inspired myself with this post and picked up a couple pairs of these for myself).
$495 Dana Rebecca earrings – Every woman needs a pair of signature everyday earrings — ones she can wear to spin class and straight into the shower after — without having to remember to remove them (who has time for that, really?). Jewelry is also an awesome gift because it’s something she can wear but that you don’t have to worry about sizing for. Bonus is she’ll think of you whenever she looks in the mirror.
Miscere weekender bag with zip on/off appliqués ($650) – I discovered these Miscere weekender bags on Instagram a while back and became obsessed immediately. With interchangeable fabrics/patterns to choose from for the center panel, she can adjust the look seasonally or just according to her mood or outfit. Such a smart idea in this era of “bespoke” everything.
Lana Jewelry necklace ($980) – If you want to roll a little bigger on the jewelry front than the earrings above, then have at this black mother of pearl and quartz necklace. It has tons of different colors in it and will therefore work with a lot of different outfits. It’s unique, sexy, earthy and interesting — lots going on in one piece!
Here’s to a hip and happy holiday season.
Are you wearing a watch everyday? If not, you’re missing out on an easy way to create a signature look, one that will set you apart from everyone else. In the image above, I’ve selected 25 of my favorite watches on the market right now. Many of them are from under-the-radar brands you’ve likely not heard of. The nice thing about these watches is that NOT every other dude in your office will be wearing the same thing as you. Several are under $300, so you don’t need to break the bank to do this (although I did choose some deliciously splurge-worthy ones as well!). Below are where to find/buy, along with style notes for a few of them.
1) Tsovet, $200
2) Tsovet, $225
3) Aark Collective, $199
4) TID, $250
5) Nixon, $350. The face is made out of recycled newspapers fashioned to look like wood.
6) Daniel Wellington, $299
7) Orient Watch, $340
8) Orient Watch, $340
9) Diesel, $350
10) Seiko, $350
11) Aark Collective, $319
12) Tsovet, $450
13) Tsovet, $475
14) Helson, $599
15) Bravur, $820
16) Autodromo $875
17) Bravur, $880
18) Jenny Watches, $990 [click for black band]
19) Seven Friday, $1150
20) Uniform Wares, $1200
21) Autodromo $1200
22) Junghans, $2120
23) Graham Chronograph, $2825
24) Tsovet, $10,000
25) Rolex/Bamford Watch Dept., Price upon request [If you haven’t heard of Bamford Watch Department, they take various luxury brand watches like Rolex, Panerai, Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, etc. and customize them, for example with military grade titanium or graphite particle coating, along with bespoke dial colors. Pretty much your wish is their command. Just like with anything on this level of exclusivity, be prepared to open your wallet in a big way for watches like these. There’s some amazing pieces on their website, along with some pretty trippy pieces (like this), so it’s worth a click over even if just to browse.]
Tip: if you like the overall shape of something but aren’t sure of the color, click over anyway, as many of these styles come in multiple colors.
Today’s post is a guest piece written by Ruth Domber, owner of 10/10 Optics.
Your eyewear just may be one of the most important accessories you wear. This one item can create the image that you’d most like to project. Your specs say as much about you as the clothes on your back. With that in mind, here’s how to choose frames that will make you look attractive. [Julie note: many women find glasses super sexy on a man, so it pays to find frames that truly flatter you.]
Size matters The best nonverbal tool you have for communication is your eyes. By choosing a frame with the proper proportions, you maximize eye contact and increase possibilities for communication. Here’s how to figure out the right size: pinpoint the widest part of your face as a guide for width, contour the shape of your brows for height and the top of your cheekbone for depth.
Quick tips for a great fit
*If you have oily skin, stay away from shiny frames and opt for a matte finish instead.
*Make sure that your bridge (nose area) is a perfect fit, as that’s the one part of the frame that cannot be easily corrected if the fit is off.
*The arms of the glasses should not squeeze or push in on the sides of your face.
*How deep should the frames sit on your face? Never past the flare of your nostrils and never resting on your cheeks.
*The arms should be enough length to anchor at your temples at least 1/3 way around the back of your ear.
Color as your best asset If you want to keep it businesslike, stay with blues, garnets and greens. Think about your favorite tie colors, and go in that direction. Color communicates individuality, creativity and openness to new
ideas. You can keep it subtle or go big.
If you’re more into neutrals, use your hair or eye color as a simple way to find your best tones. And if you’re not sure about color, try natural materials. Horn, wood and leather are all tactile and elegant choices.
Let your glasses be an outward representation of who you are on the inside. If you’re still unsure of what works for you, try on a few styles, take some pictures and compare to figure out which suits you best.
If you’re in the NYC-area and in need of new glasses or sunglasses, I highly recommend you check out 10/10 Optics. It’s one of my favorite local style resources!
Much of my job is helping other people spend money in intelligent ways. The items my clients buy with me are investments in themselves both personally and professionally. (After all, the right suit can help you get the job or attract the girl.) And I’m always on the lookout for products that also make a difference in the world. It’s extra-gratifying to help people find things that not only help them feel great about themselves but that also give back. So this year for Father’s Day, I’ve rounded up the list below of Rath-approved gifts that do good in some way:
The Rise Collective Survivor Cuff Man jewelry is a tricky thing to pull off (largely because non-cheesy man jewelry is rather elusive), but when I saw the Tim Ferriss instagram snap above, I had to find out more about this intricate and interesting piece. Turns out, the writing means “survivor” in Cambodian Sanskrit. And with each purchase, The RISE Collective provides a life essential to a survivor or at-risk child of slavery that will help educate, empower and protect them from a life of enslavement. Examples include school supplies, nutrition and health care. Go with matte finish for a more subtle look. $98
David Family Wines Everest Pinot Noir 100% of the proceeds from your purchase go to Next Generation Nepal’s earthquake relief fund. Specifically — I love how forthcoming they are about exactly how much goes to the charity — for every bottle they sell, $53.17 will go towards their goal of donating $25,000 to NGN. $95.
TOMS sunglasses Sure, you’ve seen TOMS shoes all over, but did you know they also make sunglasses? For every pair of shades sold, TOMS will help one person somewhere to achieve better vision — either by giving a pair of glasses, providing eye exams, or even providing surgery to those in need. The $98 Culver Matte Tortoise above will flatter most face shapes. $68-189
LSTN Headphones From the handcrafted wooden earbuds above to the old school ear-covering phones, LSTN has your listening needs covered. For every pair of headphones sold, they help restore hearing to a person in need. In under 2 years, LSTN has been able to give the gift of sound to over 20,000 people through Starkey in the U.S., Peru, Kenya and Uganda. And if you sign up for their newsletter, you get 20% off your first purchase. $49-199
Happy Father’s Day!
Guest article by Napper Tandy of ntandy belts
A man’s belt is often a missed opportunity to have a little fun by providing a spin to whatever you’ve decided to don and exit your home in. There are no hard and fast fashion rules one should live by other than the fact that it’s dangerous to overly color coordinate. Matching a brightly colored belt with your shirt, shoes or socks can become hazardously close to fast food uniform territory.
That said, socks that have some small colored polka dots or stripes, or a nato watch band of the same color, work… but tread lightly.
When it comes to adding a shirt, you can never lose with a white oxford and/or a shirt which features a bit of the belt color on display.
These thoughts above work for khaki, olive green or other earth-toned pants as well. Just always remember not to get too matchy or clashy. It’s not advised to go with green pants and a green belt.
Help a suit take itself less seriously.
People often ask if one can wear a suit with a colorful belt? The answer is hell yes, but like everything in life it’s all about context. One shouldn’t wear a red belt with a navy blue suit to a private wealth management meeting with new clients. But, one could wear it to dress down a suit when he still wants to look fearless on the street or while enjoying a cocktail at a bar. A colorful belt with a suit is like a pair of sneakers with a suit – a dash of cranberry in vodka to ease the bite.
Headed to the Bahamas to recharge your soul? Colorful belts party with tropical flair like Hunter Thompson at a Hell’s Angel kegger. Just remember again, stay away from overly matchy or clashy — contrast is king. Be bold, but work smarter not harder.
Have you ever been out on the weekend or after work and looked around to see that there are basically 2 or 3 types of outfits every guy is wearing, and no one is standing out from the crowd (in a good way)? Most guys are wearing what they wore earlier that day (jeans and logo’d/giveaway t-shirt, and blue button-down and khakis are two examples), with no effort to step it up for going out.
How incredibly boring! Dressing this way is certainly not going to help you be attractive to new women, much less the one you’re already with if you are in a relationship.
With the above in mind, I put together 2 sharp going out looks that you can recreate easily either using these specific items or a variation on each theme. The first is dressier, for when you truly want to dress to impress. And the second less so.
Also, if you’re looking to try to learn how to put great looks together yourself, I included reasoning behind my the choices.
Grey suit, J. Crew, $650 (Gray reads friendlier and less business than navy.)
Chambray shirt, Theory, $195 (A denim or chambray dress shirt is a nice departure from the everyday dress shirt for business. It shows some thought was put into creating a stylish look.)
Red tie, Billy Reid, $59 (The texture in this tie contrasts well against the smoothness of the chambray shirt above. Texture will also make you look approachable, which is a good thing for when you’re going out and looking to meet people, or on a date.)
Blue tie bar, The Tie Bar, $15 (A tie bar is a small detail that adds visual interest and reflects style prowess. If you want to stand out from the crowd, this is the perfect way to do so without being loud or obnoxious, a trap many guys fall into when dressing for going out – in effort to be noticed.)
White and gray pocket square, The Tie Bar,$8 (This pocket square is simple and classy yet adds a stylish touch to the outfit.)
Brown shoes, Massimo Matteo, $169 (Double-monk shoes will allow you to look sharp and distinguish you from all the other guys in loafers and laceups.)
Grey socks, J. Crew, $14 (Because there’s a fair amount going on otherwise in the look, I kept the socks quiet and matched them to the suit pants, a stylist trick that elongates your legs.)
Brown belt, Magnianni, $125 (I kept it classy, matching belt to shoes.)
Purple gingham shirt, Proper Cloth, $85 (Women can find it boring when men wear the same color light blue dress shirts day in and day out. Wearing purple shows creativity, and it’s a good conversation starter.)
Jeans, John Varvatos, $228 (The slight wear in the rinse on these jeans lend them a somewhat casual feel, which works well with the tweed fabric of the vest.)
Brown vest, Billy Reid, $159 (It’s easy to fall into the trap of wearing all black when going out, mainly because you don’t know what else to do. But this can make you look remote and unapproachable. The softness of the brown and textured fabric on this vest will lend you a friendly air instead.)
Navy knit tie, J. Crew, $59 (I kept the tie simple so as not to draw away from the patterns in the vest and shirt. The texture in the knit keeps you approachable, as above with the vest.)
Tan belt, John Varvatos, $295 (This belt works with the brown in both the vest and shoes. The subtle details give the outfit more personality than a plain brown belt would, but the statement is not so strong that it draws away from everything else.)
Bracelet, Miansai, $60 (For an element of fun, I’d add this bracelet in. Blue and purple work together because they’re analogous colors, i.e., they sit next to each other on the color wheel.)
Brown chukka boots, H by Hudson, $285 (Brown shoes work best with this outfit due to the brown in the vest. Chukkas are a nice boot option in a look like this, as they’re casual but certainly not boring.)
The playful and stylish elements of these looks clearly distinguish them from typical office garb, making it clear that the wearer knows how to dress for play vs for work.
How do you like to dress for going out? Let me know in the comments below how the outfits above have inspired you!
New Year’s resolutions are so cliché, I almost can’t stand writing about them. But the truth is, when a new year rolls around, it’s nice to take stock and see what you could start doing differently. The usual suspects here are diet and exercise, and often such resolutions are overzealous and set us up or failure. So this year I’m here to help boost you up with some totally doable style-related resolutions that will require very little of your time.
Read on for this year’s top 10 style resolutions.
1) Try one new thing with your wardrobe. It can be easy to find one thing that you’re comfortable in and that feels easy to you. But it can also be really boring! Give 2015 a fighting chance and add some sort of new element to your look — maybe it’s starting to wear more color, or swapping out your logo’d/free event t-shirts for something nicer (here’s my guide for how your t-shirt should fit).
2) Don’t shop without a plan (or on an empty stomach). The last thing you want to do when shopping is make mistake purchases. And shopping without knowing what you’re looking for — or when you’re hungry — will put you on the fast track to a shopping fail.
3) Donate anything with holes or stains that won’t come out. This one really doesn’t need explaining. I’ll just say that when you wear torn-up, crappy clothes, the message you send is that you feel torn-up and crappy about yourself. This then becomes an unfortunate vicious cycle which causes you actually to start feeling that way. (Confirm with whatever charity you’re donating to what condition they will take clothing in.)
4) Take your oversized clothes to the tailor. This is an instant, low-cost (at least compared to buying new things) option for upgrading your wardrobe. Stay tuned for an upcoming post about how to know what’s worth tailoring.
5) Think before you stink (a.k.a. avoid strong aftershaves). This one was on last year’s list, but I had to include it again. I did a lot of traveling in 2014, and one of the biggest conclusions I drew is that there’s an Old Spice epidemic in the US. Nearly every morning flight I took, I felt as if I might become asphyxiated by the scent of the man sitting next to me. Trust me, just because you can’t smell it doesn’t mean others can’t either. Ask one or two lady friends with good taste to tell you honestly if any of the product smells you’re wearing are offensive. And if the initials for any of said products are O.S., drop it like it’s hot.
6) Wear a watch. I get it, watches are no longer necessary since we all use our phones these days. But if you’re not wearing a watch, you’re missing out on an excellent opportunity to distinguish your look. Above is a serious arm party courtesy of one of my clients. You don’t need to break the bank when adding a watch to your look, however. There are plenty of good choices under $200 (including this one for $185 from Miansai). Choose something that resonates with you personally and that you’d feel good wearing — not what others would expect you to wear.
7) Make sure you have one suit that fits you like armor. Chances are, sometime in 2015 there will be a wedding, funeral, or job interview you’ll need to attend. And you’ll need a great-fitting suit for those situations — one you don’t have to think twice about. Often such events spring up out of nowhere, so it’s to your benefit to have a suit ready and waiting in your closet. And if you think you can get by with that old boxy one from ten years ago, think again. There are few things less flattering on a man than an ill-fitting suit, and there’s definitely no way to disguise a poor fit.
8) Buy flattering jeans. Most new clients I meet are in need of a jeans refresh. Even if you have a pair that was flattering when you bought them two years ago, chances are at this point they’ve stretched and faded, and it’s time to replace them. If you’ve never had a pair of jeans you feel great in, it’s time to add that to your wardrobe. Here’s my guide for how to find flattering jeans.
9) Lose the square-toed shoes. These were cool in the 90’s. But the 90’s is not now. Do yourself a favor and get them out of your closet so you aren’t tempted to wear them.
10) Take your dress shoes to the shoe guy for a cleanup and to be resoled. This is another low-cost way to refresh things, and in fact a good cobbler can make your shoes look almost new. If you don’t already have someone you use, look on Yelp or other user-review sites in your area for one with high ratings, or ask any well-dressed guys you encounter where they take theirs.
How many of the tips on this list are you able to implement? I guarantee that even if you do just 3 of them, you’ll be in great shape, and you’ll feel that much better about yourself.
Wishing you a very stylish 2015!
It’s holiday go-time! Are you ready? If not, don’t worry. I’ve compiled a list of gift ideas to help you make sure all bases are covered. Read on for 3 gifts you can ask for for yourself (and for the ladies reading this, they’re for your man), 3 you can give to her, and 1 sexy gift for the both of you.
S’well Water Bottle $30 – A client of mine recently embarked on a major fitness and weight loss project. As part of that, we upgraded his workout clothes and gear so he’d feel better about himself while he’s working out. Since starting, he’s lost 25 pounds of fat and gained 10 pounds of lean muscle. Proof positive that upgrading your exercise gear can only help you achieve your fitness goals. This sleek and sharp-looking matte grey BPA-free water bottle is a great gift for the fitness enthusiast — or someone whose new year’s goals involve fitness. The bottle will keep a beverage cold for 24 hours or hot for 12. And it has a vacuum seal that keeps drinks and carbonation fresh.
Striped Belt $117 – Do you, or does the object of your gift-giving, keep going back to the same wardrobe items over and over? If so, then it’s time to diversify. A belt with some color/pattern to it like the one from Anderson’s above is an excellent way to accomplish this. And the nice thing about it having multiple colors is that it’s easy to coordinate. Since the leather is brown on this one, and it has a brown stripe, it should be worn with brown shoes (navy would also work for a more outside-the-box look). Post on how to incorporate cool non-basic belts into your look coming soon.
Silk Blend Scarf $150 – Scarves are always a great gift (most guys I meet are in need of one), and this navy polka dot/stripe combo from Paul Smith has just enough visual interest without being over-the-top.
Set of Notebooks $14 – There’s something uplifting about writing in a beautiful notebook, and the gold foil detail on these from from Rifle Paper gives it a rich, special feel that she’ll love.
Melissa Joy Manning Opal Earrings $210 – The hoop part of these delicate opal earrings goes around the back of the ear as an interesting departure from basic and boring studs. Your subtle message that she is anything but basic and boring to you.
Black Saint Laurent Wallet $675 – A basic black wallet like this is an absolute fail-safe option. Clean, classic, sophisticated. You can’t go wrong.
L’Agent by Agent Provocateur Lingerie – The uber-luxe Agent Provocateur (with price tags to match) has collaborated with Penelope and Monica Cruz on a more palatably-priced, but equally delicious lingerie collection. This line is also available at Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Shopbop and Net-A-Porter.
What’s on your holiday gift list? And what are you hoping to receive? Leave me a comment below — I’d love to hear!